“He had grown up with a cat,” Shew explained.
For two months, Shew and fellow animal advocate Melisa Rollins have been working to find Lamar a permanent home. He was surrendered by his owner to animal control and was scheduled to be euthanized upon arrival. Shew rescued him and took him to an animal clinic, where he was neutered, vaccinated and tested for heart worms.
Lamar’s former owner is a coworker of Shew’s, who asked Shew in early April for help rehoming the dog.
“She was kind of put in a bind,” Shew said, adding that Lamar was originally her coworker’s niece’s dog. When her niece moved, Shew’s coworker was left with Lamar.
Shew began posting pictures of Lamar on her Facebook page with the hope of finding the dog a new home.
“I shared him probably 1,000 times,” Shew said of her efforts on Facebook.
After the coworker moved to a house without a fenced in yard and Lamar acted aggressively toward another dog, Shew said her coworker felt it was time to call animal control.
Shew said Lamar is not aggressive toward humans; he just has not been socialized with other dogs.
“This dog is the victim of circumstance and neglect,” Shew said. “You can’t expect animals to get along, just like you can’t expect people to get along. They’re like children...you’ve got to teach them to mid.”
After two months of searching for a new home, Lamar is now being boarded at the Gadsden clinic. Shew and Rollins were not able to find a dog rescue in the South willing to take him, but Furever Rescue, located in Chicago, Ill., offered to put him through “doggy boot camp” obedience classes and find him a new home.
Rollins said transporting pets from southern states to northern states is a growing trend. With stricter spay and neuter laws, northern pet shelters and rescue groups are often in need of animals to meet the demand for adoptions.
“They do not have the stray population, the abandoned population,” Rollins said. “They’re begging for animals up there … and dogs are being euthanized every week at Calhoun County Animal Control.”
Lamar is catching a ride with some other furry friends to Atlanta next weekend, where a Furever Rescue representative will transport him to Chicago. But until then, Lamar needs help paying for his vet bills.
Shew estimated Lamar’s bills at the clinic total around $450. She said she and Rollins are asking for community donations to help get Lamar “on his way to a better life.” So far, they have raised about $25.
Shew said the community can help by calling Isbell Animal Hospital at 256-546-4681 to make a donation over the phone. She added check donations can be mailed to Isbell Animal Hospital at 320 North 12th Street in Gadsden.
Both Shew and Rollins are confident that, after a little help and training from Furever Rescue, Lamar will make a great pet.
“Lamar had been red tagged for death row,” Rollins said. “He deserves a second chance at life.”